Allen lassoes another terrific tale for the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series.

MYA IN THE MIDDLE

From the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series , Vol. 3

This latest addition to Allen’s series about a determined fourth-grader highlights Mya’s struggles to keep her family and friends connected any way she can.

While her big brother, Nugget, is congratulated for his intelligence and her baby sister, Macey, is showered with attention and constant care, Mya is left out of the circle of love she’s used to sharing with her African-American family. Most of her earnest attempts to attract her parents’ attention are either ignored or met with confusion, but when she’s given a school assignment to build a business, Mya’s sure that a good-news-only newspaper will be the perfect vehicle to park her parents’ focus back on her. In between trying to get her family back on track, repairing broken friendships, and ensuring joyous birthday celebrations for her twin friends and for their small Texas town, Mya learns solid lessons about the lasting power of hurtful language, the importance of speaking up for yourself, and the pressures of owning a small business. Mya faces realistic consequences for some of her more questionable hijinks, but the inclusion of accessible templates for building budgets and business plans and the fact that adults listen to Mya when she expresses emotional distress make this more than just a story about adaptability; it’s an introduction to other, broader conversations with kids about money, health, and responsibility.

Allen lassoes another terrific tale for the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-283939-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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